New Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock says he wants to “put something back” into the club after starting his second spell as manager at Selhurst Park.
Warnock was officially named as the permanent successor to Tony Pulis yesterday after putting pen to paper on a two-year contract in SE25, more than four years after he departed south London in March 2010.
But the 65-year-old is delighted to be back and is intent on repaying the faith shown in him by the club and its supporters during his first spell in charge.
Giving his first interview to cpfc.co.uk at Palace’s Beckenham training ground, Warnock said: “I’m delighted. Obviously it’s a place very close to my heart, so when I was asked to help I jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s nice to be able to repay somebody. They really helped me – the Palace fans were brilliant for me at a bad time and I worked really hard when I was here.
“Now the club has gone even further forward and I’d like to keep it there. I’d like to cement that and help the chairman build it.
“He [Steve Parish] knows what I’m like about Palace and I think everyone knows wherever I’ve been, I’ve always spoke about Palace highly.
“I’ve had quite a few opportunities in the last six months, but this one, to help out and put something back – you don’t normally get a chance to put something back into a club.
“I just felt it was a difficult time for the club with no manager and no leader at the moment – and I think they need that.”
Warnock, who led Palace into the Championship play-offs back in 2008 during his first spell as boss, watched the Eagles from afar last season in his role as a pundit for BT Sport.
And he was impressed by the work ethic and team spirit of the players, which he is keen to build on during his second reign.
“They’re a good group of players, they work hard for each other, so the sooner I can get cracking the better,” he said.
“Last year epitomised that. You can’t do anything without team spirit and I think they had it in abundance.
“We’ve all got to work hard to get that resilience again, get that clean sheet mental attitude and the lads up front have got to be a bit freer and take a bit more responsibility to try and score more goals.
“It’s an adventure we’ve all got to go into now without fear and enjoy it.”
Warnock’s first day back on the training pitch came just four days before the close of the transfer window – and the new gaffer confirmed that he will be looking to add to the squad before the clock strikes midnight.
“The word that comes to my mind is ‘chaos’,” he joked. “I think Monday might be a chaotic day!
“Every year you think ‘surely they will get their business done early’, but it’s the same for every club. There always seems to be a last-minute rush.
“It’s not an enjoyable one for the manager, but hopefully we can move on and get one or two more decent players into the squad.”
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